Politics and Religion

It's tough to stay on my side of the line between politics and religion during this intense campaign season. I personally have never been so caught up in a presidential race as I have been in this one. And there's been so many issues that have been brought up in this race, issues that I am free to comment on, professionally and personally, like race, gender, the economy, war. There have been issues of religion brought up by this presidential race, too, that I have found absolutely fascinating, and sometimes infuriating. For example, there is the fact that a substantial number of U.S. Americans still believe Barack Obama is a Muslim, and the anti-Muslim sentiments that have been e-mailed around the company accompanying statements of his supposedly Muslim identity. This campaign has also brought up what I would consider the most religious issue of all: hope.

Our church web page links to this blog, because I am its minister, yet this is not a blog that is run by or owned by the church. It is mine. However, I've steered away from talking about candidates on my blogs, because I want to tread carefully around that line, and I know this blog is a blurry spot, as I do say on here that I am a minister of a particular church, and I call the blog Rev. Cyn. And, too, I know our congregation must remain non-partisan. I know I cannot endorse a candidate from the pulpit or in the newsletter. I know we have members who are both Democrat and Republican. And, in fact, I treasure those things. I treasure our diversity. I treasure the separation between church and state. At the same time, as an individual I have strong political leanings, and I feel free to express them in private ways--in yard signs in front of my own house, in bumper stickers on my own car, or as links from my own facebook page.

All that being said, here is a video that a colleague posted on his blog that I found very moving. And it is partisan. It is clearly a video endorsing Obama. Yet if one just listens to the words, it expresses a deep and religious hope, a prayer for our country, that cannot be separated from the religious. And that shows just how complicated this all is.


Bill Baar said…
Obama could easily dispell the Muslim business by showing some solidarity with the Muslims we've faught and died with in Iraq and Afganistan.

I've followed Obama for a long time and he usually dodges hard questions with this red hearing about people thinking him a Muslim.

If he would only have stood up after the Sammarra shrine bombing and said we're all Muslims today....

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